Research ArticleCancer

Eradication of spontaneous malignancy by local immunotherapy

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Science Translational Medicine  31 Jan 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 426, eaan4488
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aan4488

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  • RE: The "cure" for cancer, a mirage or distant reality

    Our immune system holds the key against cancer. One of the most remarkable phenomena in medical sciences is a spontaneous tumor or cancer regression. Out of many mechanisms of spontaneous cancer regression, immune mechanism tops the list. Basic immune response to cancerous cells in humans is the immune elimination of these cells. The development of an in situ vaccine against cancer is a giant leap to win the battle against cancer in this century. Ronald Levy and colleagues have shown that, injecting two immune-stimulating agents (unmethylated CG-enriched oligodeoxynucleotide (CpG)-a toll-like receptor 9 ligand and anti-OX40 antibody) directly into solid tumors eliminate all traces of cancer, including distant metastasis in genetically engineered mice (1). This research has bypassed the need to identify tumor-specific immune targets or customization of a patient’s immune cells (T cell) like chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy that uses a patient’s own immune system cell. The research aimed to harness the immune system or the T cell to kill the cancer cells. In cancer patients, the immune surveillance mechanism and immune elimination of cancerous cells does not work effectively. It may be hypothetical that, in individuals apparently without cancer, this immune surveillance remains perfect and it successfully eliminates initial cancers from the host and thereby rendering the host free of cancer for a lifetime, considering that the genetic and molecular changes woul...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.